The Opposite of Falling Apart

Wattpad. Feb. 2020. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781989365069.
Gr 8 Up–When Brennan meets Jonas during a minor fender bender, she has no idea that it is one of his first times driving after a traumatic car accident in which he lost his leg, and Jonas doesn’t know about Brennan’s struggles with anxiety. But they both know that the other is intriguing. After that, their lives keep intersecting and the two of them are drawn to each other though they are both working through their own issues, which often makes their connection difficult to sustain. The romance, a slow burn with an occasionally contrived feel, is not the focal point of the story. Rather, the heart of this novel is the emotional development of the characters and how they are learning to live with their disabilities. Brennan’s life with an anxiety disorder is particularly well-drawn, and Jonas’s experience as an amputee is well researched, if stereotyped. The deliberate pace of the story may deter some readers while others will appreciate the realistically slow course of the eventual romance.
VERDICT An emotional and ultimately sweet story that explores college life through the lens of disability.

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